KARACHI (August 20 2003) : The scheme of palm tree plantation launchedrecently to reduce the burden of heavy imports of palm and other edibleoils has practically failed to reduce the vegetable oil import bill.
The government had made efforts for encouraging sunflower and safflowercrops in 1979 with the establishment of seed division in the then GheeCorporation of Pakistan (GCP).
Finally, Pakistan Oilseed Development Board (PODB) was established in1994-95 for this purpose.
Millions of rupees are reported to have been spent on this scheme but ofno avail.
During the year 2001-2002, according to official sources, the productionof non-traditional oilseeds was 243,000 million tonnes yielding 97,200tonnes edible oil, which is only 6 percent of the total requirement ofedible oils in the country.
It shows that the efforts of the government have not been fruitful.
The production of local oilseeds is negligible. It is produced fromcottonseeds, rapeseed, mustard, and a little sunflower and canola.